Fuelling your car in the GTA has gotten a lot cheaper over the last few days while motorists in other parts of the province and across Canada aren’t getting such sweet gas deals.
At this rate experts predict we could see fuel prices as low as 99 cents a litre in the Toronto area by year’s end.
On Monday a litre of gas averaged about $1.19 per litre, with the cheapest price at Costco in Ajax at $1.13, while gas was going for nearly $1.30 a litre in Windsor, Ont., which was about the same price in Regina, Sask.
“It isn’t that gas in Toronto is so much cheaper, but that places like Windsor haven’t lowered their prices as much,” said Jason Toews, of GasBuddy.com, who along with Dustin Coupal founded the online fuel price monitoring organization in 2000.
GasBuddy.com provides real-time gas prices, tracks consumer and oil industry trends and gathers information through a shared network made up of a large collection of local websites in Canada and the U.S.
“Consumers do shop around in Toronto and you can save on gas there because there is greater competition (among service stations) and smaller cities tend to have prices drop slower. None of the gas stations want to lower their prices too quickly because they’re making a good profit off it,” Toews added.
He said there was no reason the price of gas should be as high as it is in Regina since Saskatchewan’s gas tax rate is lower than Ontario’s. Fuel vendors balance lower gas profit with higher volume sales and the rate of customers stopping to also spend money in their convenience stores, Toews reasons.
“Gas prices should continue to go down because we’re past the summer driving season and people are hunkering down when the weather gets cooler. We naturally do less driving. Refineries are running at or near capacity to meet the demand in the summer, whereas in the winter they have more capacity because of lower demand, and in the winter the price is more tied to the price of crude oil,” he said.
“I think in the GTA you are going to see some gas stations flirt with 99 cents per litre, but it should drop 10 cents per litre on average across the country by the end of the year,” Toews added.
Toews said fuel prices would once again begin to rise in the new year and head toward the usual peak prices by next summer.
Last winter the lowest average price for regular gas was in the $1.15 range in the Toronto area and it was about 10 cents less the winter before that, which means this will be a banner year if gas goes as low as a buck this December.
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